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Made in at
Mighty Kithkar





The LGS seems like a lovable, but completely obsolete model to me. Today's market and customer flexibility is pretty much counteractive to it, what with online discounters and ebay. Hell, for many games you never need to pick up a sealed box, there are so many unbuilt and half-built sprues available second hand that you can get the same product for a fraction of MSRP. That's why LGS have to rely on supplemental stuff to sell any product at all, namely immediate availability, gaming space and pity.
Immediate availability is a problem in itself: If you don't have what the customer wants, he's going to go somewhere else. Very few people are going to order through you because it's just an objectively worse option than buying online instead, which usually gets you your stuff both cheaper and faster. On the other hand, retail space is expensive and suppliers are fickle, so good luck keeping a decent selection. This is also why you rarely see niche games in your typical LGS: The store doesn't carry the game, so the players don't frequent it, so the store never picks up the product because it's better to try and keep the stock up for the ranges that atually sell.
Gaming space is expected and required by most customers, but it also actively hurts the store. Having tables set up needs a lot of space with very little benifit. It's space that you can't use to sell somebody something and that is occupied by very few customers for a very long time while spending very little money. Consider the typical Warhammer table at 6x4 Feet or 1.8m x 1.2m. I think it's save to say that you need at least two feet/60cm in every direction to properly play and move around it. You might be able to skimp a bit on it by putting tables directly next to each other at the short side, but that's often less than ideal. So you are looking at 8x6 Feet or 2.4m x 1.8m, so about 4.5 square meters are gone for two customers. That's a lot of space and very little money spent. MtG and other card games fare a little better, depending on how good you are at stacking tables.
Pity is pretty self explanatory, many LGS owe their continued existence to the goodwill of their customers. Mantras like "pay where you play" are probably a decent way to think, but it's not very sensible if you think a bout it. A lot of people also argue that you need to keep your store alive to have a place to play, but honestly, that's a fallacy. Setting up a club isn't all that hard and many games thrive on club play alone. Just ask the historical scene. Relying on pity and goodwill is also not a good long-term plan, because customer bases change. Their attitude might change as prices rise or they might get completely supplanted by events completely outside your control.

I honestly think that the model is outdated and if you want to do something commercially with gaming, you should ask yourself: What are the things that online discounters, ebay and second hand can't provide? The answer is gaming space and food. Which is incidentally why I think that the future lies in Gaming Clubs, Cafés, Venues and similar things of its kind, which sell people the thing they need without having to compete with other vendors or having to deal with the nonsense of suppliers.
   
Made in gr
Longtime Dakkanaut




Halandri

Last night I dreamt I went to a pub with billiards, darts, duke box music and gaming tables; Just a blokey place to chill out with some ale and some rock. Obviously you had to pay for your entertainments, as with any other bar. Most of the money was made from the drink.

It was cool. Didn't stock minis though, you had to buy your toy soldiers elsewhere if you wanted to rent a gaming table.
   
Made in ca
[DCM]
Best bush pilot in the Outer Rim





Bathing in elitist French expats fumes

morgoth wrote:
 Dysartes wrote:
morgoth wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
morgoth wrote:
An alternative is to work a really lucrative job for 5 to 10 hours a week, and then spending the remaining 70 to 75 hours just having fun.


Lolwut? Where can I find these jobs that pay enough to live on with only 5-10 hours a week, and don't demand longer hours? Are you assuming that everyone is a billionaire living off their investments, and can just spend 5-10 hours a week doing celebrity stuff?


Dude, get skills, sell skills.

I could work two months out of a year and still earn more than enough to live decently.


Nantwich just called, they've got an entire mine full of salt to take that statement with.


Don't tell me you don't know other consultants taking home 700+ a day...


Take note, boys, the 1% just noticed we existed... and has amply demonstrated it doesn't understand our reality. Don't worry, the moment will be over soon enough.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Korraz wrote:
Spoiler:
The LGS seems like a lovable, but completely obsolete model to me. Today's market and customer flexibility is pretty much counteractive to it, what with online discounters and ebay. Hell, for many games you never need to pick up a sealed box, there are so many unbuilt and half-built sprues available second hand that you can get the same product for a fraction of MSRP. That's why LGS have to rely on supplemental stuff to sell any product at all, namely immediate availability, gaming space and pity.
Immediate availability is a problem in itself: If you don't have what the customer wants, he's going to go somewhere else. Very few people are going to order through you because it's just an objectively worse option than buying online instead, which usually gets you your stuff both cheaper and faster. On the other hand, retail space is expensive and suppliers are fickle, so good luck keeping a decent selection. This is also why you rarely see niche games in your typical LGS: The store doesn't carry the game, so the players don't frequent it, so the store never picks up the product because it's better to try and keep the stock up for the ranges that atually sell.
Gaming space is expected and required by most customers, but it also actively hurts the store. Having tables set up needs a lot of space with very little benifit. It's space that you can't use to sell somebody something and that is occupied by very few customers for a very long time while spending very little money. Consider the typical Warhammer table at 6x4 Feet or 1.8m x 1.2m. I think it's save to say that you need at least two feet/60cm in every direction to properly play and move around it. You might be able to skimp a bit on it by putting tables directly next to each other at the short side, but that's often less than ideal. So you are looking at 8x6 Feet or 2.4m x 1.8m, so about 4.5 square meters are gone for two customers. That's a lot of space and very little money spent. MtG and other card games fare a little better, depending on how good you are at stacking tables.
Pity is pretty self explanatory, many LGS owe their continued existence to the goodwill of their customers. Mantras like "pay where you play" are probably a decent way to think, but it's not very sensible if you think a bout it. A lot of people also argue that you need to keep your store alive to have a place to play, but honestly, that's a fallacy. Setting up a club isn't all that hard and many games thrive on club play alone. Just ask the historical scene. Relying on pity and goodwill is also not a good long-term plan, because customer bases change. Their attitude might change as prices rise or they might get completely supplanted by events completely outside your control.

I honestly think that the model is outdated and if you want to do something commercially with gaming, you should ask yourself: What are the things that online discounters, ebay and second hand can't provide? The answer is gaming space and food. Which is incidentally why I think that the future lies in Gaming Clubs, Cafés, Venues and similar things of its kind, which sell people the thing they need without having to compete with other vendors or having to deal with the nonsense of suppliers.


Most businesses cannot survive these days in the experience economy as a single service/product provider. That is a truism.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/05/14 18:56:28


 GamesWorkshop wrote:
And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/503887.page (My humble P&M thread that I'll sometimes update, here on Dakka.) 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut







morgoth wrote:
 Dysartes wrote:
morgoth wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
morgoth wrote:
An alternative is to work a really lucrative job for 5 to 10 hours a week, and then spending the remaining 70 to 75 hours just having fun.


Lolwut? Where can I find these jobs that pay enough to live on with only 5-10 hours a week, and don't demand longer hours? Are you assuming that everyone is a billionaire living off their investments, and can just spend 5-10 hours a week doing celebrity stuff?


Dude, get skills, sell skills.

I could work two months out of a year and still earn more than enough to live decently.


Nantwich just called, they've got an entire mine full of salt to take that statement with.


Don't tell me you don't know other consultants taking home 700+ a day...


Including you, I don't believe I know any.

After all, with your demonstrable inability to maintain impartial judgement, or accurately understand the concept of competition in a market, there's no way you should be making that. I can't see it as a good value for money proposition for any business to hire someone with those qualities.

Mind you, that tends to explain a lot about "consultants" in general, so...

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Made in gb
Androgynous Daemon Prince of Slaanesh





Devon, UK

Including you, I don't believe I know any.


Exalted.

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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Grot 6 wrote:
You have to factor in the Gakky Distributors. They have made running a Local game store damn near impossible in their overstepping their own overinflated sense of worth and making their personal agendas the focus of the Game stores.


"Today my number one most requested game is Star Wars: Destiny - and I have ordered it from the single distributor I can, more than 12 times. I have gotten exactly not a single pack, deck, booster or starter for that line. Ever. I am on the ‘long list” of “might someday get that stuff” from my distributor, who treats me like an unruly stepchild every time I ask for that product.

As a result, I have gone further afield from games to the point that my “Games & Comics” shop is now really a “Comics, Toys, Gifts and Games” store."

https://icv2.com/articles/columns/view/36880/view-game-store-diversification-is-path-financial-success

What are you, some kind of permanent "victim class". Grow up. - D.R. 
   
Made in us
Leader of the Sept






 Korraz wrote:
The LGS seems like a lovable, but completely obsolete model to me. Today's market and customer flexibility is pretty much counteractive to it, what with online discounters and ebay. Hell, for many games you never need to pick up a sealed box, there are so many unbuilt and half-built sprues available second hand that you can get the same product for a fraction of MSRP. That's why LGS have to rely on supplemental stuff to sell any product at all, namely immediate availability, gaming space and pity.
Immediate availability is a problem in itself: If you don't have what the customer wants, he's going to go somewhere else. Very few people are going to order through you because it's just an objectively worse option than buying online instead, which usually gets you your stuff both cheaper and faster. On the other hand, retail space is expensive and suppliers are fickle, so good luck keeping a decent selection. This is also why you rarely see niche games in your typical LGS: The store doesn't carry the game, so the players don't frequent it, so the store never picks up the product because it's better to try and keep the stock up for the ranges that atually sell.
Gaming space is expected and required by most customers, but it also actively hurts the store. Having tables set up needs a lot of space with very little benifit. It's space that you can't use to sell somebody something and that is occupied by very few customers for a very long time while spending very little money. Consider the typical Warhammer table at 6x4 Feet or 1.8m x 1.2m. I think it's save to say that you need at least two feet/60cm in every direction to properly play and move around it. You might be able to skimp a bit on it by putting tables directly next to each other at the short side, but that's often less than ideal. So you are looking at 8x6 Feet or 2.4m x 1.8m, so about 4.5 square meters are gone for two customers. That's a lot of space and very little money spent. MtG and other card games fare a little better, depending on how good you are at stacking tables.
Pity is pretty self explanatory, many LGS owe their continued existence to the goodwill of their customers. Mantras like "pay where you play" are probably a decent way to think, but it's not very sensible if you think a bout it. A lot of people also argue that you need to keep your store alive to have a place to play, but honestly, that's a fallacy. Setting up a club isn't all that hard and many games thrive on club play alone. Just ask the historical scene. Relying on pity and goodwill is also not a good long-term plan, because customer bases change. Their attitude might change as prices rise or they might get completely supplanted by events completely outside your control.

I honestly think that the model is outdated and if you want to do something commercially with gaming, you should ask yourself: What are the things that online discounters, ebay and second hand can't provide? The answer is gaming space and food. Which is incidentally why I think that the future lies in Gaming Clubs, Cafés, Venues and similar things of its kind, which sell people the thing they need without having to compete with other vendors or having to deal with the nonsense of suppliers.

SOOO TRUE. I hate waiting and calling to see if a model has come in, first I dont want to bug, second I dont want to drive down. If it is available to purchase at an online retail, its gonna be here, not them ordering it and taking 3 weeks when i would have gotten it in 4 days in some cases.
And the Niche games thing is sooooo true. I play WM/H, a store here doesnt carry the line except a few token effort, so we order online or occasonally drive 1.5 hours to go to a store that in all likely hood has what we want.
As for the pity, my god it is silly sometimes
At a store, he stopped carrying anything but GW and a small p3 paintline. And he doesnt like us discussing painting with any other colors. Because it hurts his business.
Dude, stop your whining.

Bullockist wrote:I think a mini of hotsauceman1 rending the overly serious posters of dakka in twain with a flexing of humourous intent would be a winning mini.

4000pts 2000 1500
 
   
Made in be
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Mathieu Raymond wrote:
morgoth wrote:

Don't tell me you don't know other consultants taking home 700+ a day...


Take note, boys, the 1% just noticed we existed... and has amply demonstrated it doesn't understand our reality. Don't worry, the moment will be over soon enough.


Haha... if you think that's the 1%... it's just every single regular guy or girl who is both a freelancer and has a university degree or equivalent through experience.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






" just every single regular guy or girl who is both a freelancer and has a university degree "

In other words, hardly anyone. I'm sorry, your experience is not "regular".
   
Made in es
Werewolf of Angmar





Africa starts south of the Pyrenees, I know, I live there

Well, he's belgian, he's probably riding the EU money train or something.

Here people with degrees work at Starbucks or fill your bags at Carrefour.
   
Made in be
Longtime Dakkanaut




 aldo wrote:
Well, he's belgian, he's probably riding the EU money train or something.

Here people with degrees work at Starbucks or fill your bags at Carrefour.

Is your point that not all degrees and not all countries average salaries are equal?
If so, I totally agree.

About that EU money train... it's only feeding Eastern Europeans, Big Corporations, and undercover non-EU people at this point, because most EU institutions have lowered the rates below anything a westerner would accept.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 AndrewGPaul wrote:
" just every single regular guy or girl who is both a freelancer and has a university degree "

In other words, hardly anyone. I'm sorry, your experience is not "regular".


Interesting how you cut the important part "or the equivalent through experience".
I know my experience is not regular, but I can tell you about the massive number of IT jobs where even 3-year experience gets you 450+, be it in Northern Europe, UK or US.
Then you have all the people in sales who are good at it, all the PMs, all the people who own a business and run it decently well.
There are a lot of people out there who easily make the kind of money I talked about and I find it shocking that you would argue otherwise.
Here in Belgium, most of those who could simply don't because they'd rather be employees.


The point here is very simple: running a successful FLGS is not a great way to have maximum fun time in your life.
Most people have everything it takes to make enough money to make a living working two months a year - that's a lie, most of them lack the motivation, realism and common sense to get there.


What I mean is that if someone is capable of running a successful FLGS, they should open a grocery store or a café, hire people and five years later they'll be working minimal hours if at all.
It seems a lot better to me, that's all.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/05/15 17:10:37


 
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado




MN

I actually agree with Morgoth assessment that you really shouldn;t try to start a game store because the chances of it ever breaking even or making money are nil. As i said before, be prepared to lose the following:

1. All of your money
2. All of your Friends
3. Your Family

Of course, I would argue that the same is true for any physical retail business at the moment.

The trick for Brick and Mortar now is focus on creating a memorable experience, memory or event that leads to sales. That is the only way forward. Everything else, Online can simply do better.

This is coming from the owner of two small businesses.

Do you like Free Wargames?
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Made in us
Dipping With Wood Stain





San Francisco, CA

morgoth wrote:


... work a really lucrative job for 5 to 10 hours a week, and then spending the remaining 70 to 75 hours just having fun.



LOL! That's the best quote I've read in a while. You know, that's a great solution to poverty! Let's get all them poor folk off unemployment, and just find them a really lucrative job, and tell them if they want, they only have to work 5 to 10 hours a week.

Even the folks I know with really lucrative jobs ($200k+ / year) find that once life starts, you really can't go back down to 20% time and make ends meet. Math isn't my forte, but that's darn near the poverty level here in the US

I play...

Sigh.

Who am I kidding? I only paint these days... 
   
Made in us
Incorporating Wet-Blending





Houston, TX

 Easy E wrote:
I actually agree with Morgoth assessment that you really shouldn;t try to start a game store because the chances of it ever breaking even or making money are nil. As i said before, be prepared to lose the following:

1. All of your money
2. All of your Friends
3. Your Family

Of course, I would argue that the same is true for any physical retail business at the moment.

The trick for Brick and Mortar now is focus on creating a memorable experience, memory or event that leads to sales. That is the only way forward. Everything else, Online can simply do better.

This is coming from the owner of two small businesses.


Yup. Small businesses are great because you get to set your own hours, though. As long as those hours are 4 am to 10 pm 7 days a week ;-)

Small businesses are one of the hardest way to try to carve out a living, have tremendous risks, and generally fail. Starting a game store is just openly admitting you don't understand why this is not going to work from the outset.

-James
 
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado




MN

 jmurph wrote:


Yup. Small businesses are great because you get to set your own hours, though. As long as those hours are 4 am to 10 pm 7 days a week ;-)





Too true! There is no better way to turn something you love into something you hate.

It is so much easier to just get a job and get a steady paycheck.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/05/15 23:15:16


Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Best bush pilot in the Outer Rim





Bathing in elitist French expats fumes

Yeah, but then you can't stick it to the man by being your own man.

No, really, anything more than 5 to 10 hours per week and it's like you're not even trying, guys. I mean seriously, look at all those people around you working 5 to 10 hours per week. They are literally laughing at you for not doing what they're doing. I mean, there's so many of them, how could you not have noticed that was the answer to life in the modern age?

 GamesWorkshop wrote:
And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/503887.page (My humble P&M thread that I'll sometimes update, here on Dakka.) 
   
Made in be
Longtime Dakkanaut




 pancakeonions wrote:
morgoth wrote:


... work a really lucrative job for 5 to 10 hours a week, and then spending the remaining 70 to 75 hours just having fun.



LOL! That's the best quote I've read in a while. You know, that's a great solution to poverty! Let's get all them poor folk off unemployment, and just find them a really lucrative job, and tell them if they want, they only have to work 5 to 10 hours a week.

Even the folks I know with really lucrative jobs ($200k+ / year) find that once life starts, you really can't go back down to 20% time and make ends meet. Math isn't my forte, but that's darn near the poverty level here in the US


40k a year plus homeowner is not the poverty line in the US.

Nobody said it was easy to get there either, I just said it was a better safer way to get to spend more hobby time, which is open to all highly motivated candidates.



Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Mathieu Raymond wrote:
Yeah, but then you can't stick it to the man by being your own man.

No, really, anything more than 5 to 10 hours per week and it's like you're not even trying, guys. I mean seriously, look at all those people around you working 5 to 10 hours per week. They are literally laughing at you for not doing what they're doing. I mean, there's so many of them, how could you not have noticed that was the answer to life in the modern age?


Are you even trying?
Can you tell me how many minutes you spent this week crafting a realistic get rich plan, or putting it in action?
Besides, most people already work 5 to 10 hours and spend the remaining 30 to 35 chatting, browsing the web and other pointless activities at the office.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/05/16 05:41:29


 
   
Made in us
[MOD]
Sentient OverBear






Clearwater, FL

This whole "consulting for ducats" thing is off-topic and has gone too far. Knock it off, everyone.

Gamestore stuff only.

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Made in us
Widowmaker




Somewhere in the Ginnungagap

 Peregrine wrote:
 DrNo172000 wrote:
I mean the above example someone gave about having a niche boardgame that only sells a few copies a year would be hard to demo illustrates my point about not having a business mindset. Why would you carry something that has such an awful turn over rate? You aren't amazon you can't be the carry everything store. A simple square footage report should tell you what to clearance and what to expand but again most stores I have been in don't even bother.


That "simple square footage report" ignores the need to get people in the door at all. Carrying the full range of products, even the ones that don't sell as quickly, gets you a reputation for "{store} has everything" and gets people to come in the door. If you have a limited inventory of only the stuff with the best profit numbers then the people who hear about that niche-market game are going to go straight to amazon instead of coming to your store because they know you don't have anything they want. And since they're already avoiding your store why make an exception when they want to buy something that you do carry?

But no we will just let MTG keep us afloat because we have no business model. MTG by contrast has the worst margin! Why aren't you creating communities for the things that give you a bigger slice of the pie?


Again, the simple numbers don't tell the whole story, a problem random business people have when trying to analyze the gaming industry without prior experience. MTG may have poor margins but it has amazing sales volume and small space requirements. If you carry MTG and do a halfway decent job of hosting regular tournaments you can guarantee a steady supply of customers coming in every week (or more frequently!) to feed their addiction. In contrast, that high-margin item might not have the same recurring customer effect. For example, RPG books are a marginal product line no matter what the per-book numbers are, because once you sell the core rulebook to a customer they're never buying anything else no matter how many times they come in and use your table space. Board games are usually played at home, so you aren't building communities for them. Etc.


I keep hearing this "the hobby industry works different from others, but it's bogus and false." The best part is I successfully improved the sales of a LGS from failing to booming as it's sales manager, but maybe that was just luck.

Oh and I perfectly understand volume of sales, no one says don't carry MTG but your business model shouldn't revolve around a single product line. How about increasing volume of sales on your other products through an omnichannel solution.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/05/24 21:29:30


 
   
Made in fr
Regular Dakkanaut



France

7) Communication is really important, you have to do some event and got a facebook page for your store, it's all about marketing

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York, PA USA

Sorry if I have not read every post, and if this message is redundant please delete or ignore.

OK, this place seems kind of crazy- http://www.battleandbrew.com/ Seems to offer a genuine activity area instead of just a point of sale. This store offers something Amazon can not.

Also, this place is close to me. http://timelinearcade.net/ When I first saw it years ago I was certain they would be closed in months. Why would anyone pay money to play antiquated video games when home consoles will offer far better play from the convenience of home? This place reminded me of when I was 16. But somehow it is still operating and I guess doing well. It stays open late and has a BYOB policy so it seems to be the place for young folks to hang out.

Regarding a miniatures store- I think there are too many offerings to keep up with. You are going to be always chasing the latest trend and getting the scraps left after people have spent on kick starter.

So that is my completely uneducated observation based on things I have seen.

One final thing, and I heard this from a couple of people who ran or owned gaming stores. They went from loving gaming to hating it. Once it became a job it lost all of its appeal.




If you do not fail often you are not tackling big enough challenges. 
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado






Chicago

My googl- fu seems to be failing here, but someone should really assemble an article compiling all the FLGS advice that Mikaila (spelilng?) -the owner of 2 or 3 succesfull FLGS's- has given over the years on dakka. The dude is a veritable fount of strait talk about what it takes to make an FLGS successfull.

For my part I'd say the number one things in the USA are space to play and Magic the Gathering. Space to play, run events, and build comjmnity is just about the only thing that the FLGS has in a world where Amazon will sell it to you for less and have it at your door in a day or two. And of course MtG is an income stream that will usually dwarf all others.

Parking is huge too, though not always necessary. The biggest store in Chicago "Chicgoland Games Dice Dojo" city limits has zero dedicated, free parking. However, it's accessble by the el and folks on the north side just understand that's the way it is.

The biggest suburban stores that cater to wargamers (Draxtar and Games Plus) have plenty of street parking or a dedicated lot.

A recent addition to the area FLGS market "Greenfire" games ( http://greenfiregames.net ) seems to be doing most everything right. They've been open for a year or so now and they have:

-Diversified (wargames, CCG's and board games), but with a bit of a focus on marquee money making games like Magic and X-wing, etc. Games that lead to alot of purchases and will never have a kickstarter.
-Lots of gaming space, allowing for dedicated evenings for most games and regularly scheduled events/tournaments/etc/
-A hobby/painting area.
-A parking lot.
-At the corner of two major (bus-served) streets and walking distance from a "Metra" commuter train stop
-Friendly and attentive staff who are often available to play if no opponents are around.
-Open from 2 til midnight most days. My guess is that this limits the store hours to one extended shift (saving on payroll) while capitalizing on the times that most gamers will be avaialble.

From what they say, they are making a living, so they must be doing something right.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2017/06/01 14:34:37


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http://chicagoskirmishwargames.com/blog/2012/01/16/with-liberty-and-brush-dipping-for-a/l

My Project Log, mostly revolving around custom "Toybashed" terrain.
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/651712.page 
   
 
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